Christkindlmarket Chicago 2016

Vendor stalls selling handmade imported items from Germany: Christkindlmarket  Chicago 2016

Each year, people from all over the world visit the Christkindlmarket Chicago. I had the pleasure of visiting this past weekend. The outdoor market is located in the Chicago Loop and offers an authentic German Christkindlmarket experience including: shopping, typical German food and drinks and holiday entertainment. The market is in its 21st year and is celebrating the returned appearance of Christkindl from Nuremberg, Germany. The market runs daily for the advent season, from mid-November until Christmas Eve.

The main attraction at the market is the Nativity Scene (a crèche or crib).

The History of the Christmas Market

The history of the Christmas Market goes back to the late middle ages in the German-speaking part of Europe. In many towns in Germany and Austria, Advent is usually ushered in with the opening of the Christkindlmarket or Weihnachtsmarkt. In southern Germany and Austria it is sometimes called a Christkindlmarket (In German, literally meaning “Christ child market”). Generally held in the town square and the market sells food, drink, and seasonal items from open-air stalls, accompanied by traditional singing and dancing. On opening night onlookers welcome the Christking (who was originally boy Jesus, but is often depicted as an angel-like girl), acted out by a local child young lady.

Christking on night of Opening Ceremony 2016   Photo by: Eric James Walsh

Christkindlmarket Food and Drink

There is a wide variety of authentic German food and drink during the market. From giant pretzels and bratwurst to freshly made strudel and ceramic mugs of hot mulled wine, there is plenty to indulge in. The fantastic smells transport you right to Nuremberg!

Hot chocolate with whipped cream in this years collectible mug.
My husband and I enjoying a mug full of cider.

Christmas Specialties and Gifts

The variety of gifts and imported speciality items is amazing. Most of the vendors are from Germany and offer handcrafted wares. The items include: glass-blown ornaments, pewter steins, hand wood-carved nativity scenes, wool mittens, wooden clocks and much more!

Black Forest, Germany handmade cuckoo clocks.
Beautiful wood snowflake I purchased from the Chicago Christkindlmarket.
Bavarian pull toys made in Germany.


To learn more about the Chicago Christkindlmarket, visit their website:


3 thoughts on “Christkindlmarket Chicago 2016

  1. That looks like so much fun! I never heard of this, it was so interesting to read about. I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI which is only about 3 hours from Chicago. Wish I would have known about this so I could have gone at least once.

  2. I’ve always heard so many great things about the Christkindlmarket! I’d love to go sometime.

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